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No. 9 Wildcats Hold Off Georgetown 65-60
Daniel Ochefu and Darrun Hilliard

Jan. 28, 2014

Box Score |  USATSI Gallery 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Another clutch second half shooting effort from senior James Bell and stingy defense in the final minutes helped No. 9 Villanova hold off Georgetown 65-60 in a BIG EAST game played Monday evening at the Verizon Center.

Bell scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half to boost the Wildcats, who improved to 18-2 overall, 7-1 BIG EAST. Sophomore Daniel Ochefu added 12 points and junior JayVaughn Pinkston contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.

The Hoyas, who fell to 11-9 overall, 3-6 in conference play, were led by Markel Starks, who finished with 20 points.

"That was an old school BIG EAST game," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "It was fun. I thought Georgetown's defense gave us trouble. We've been pretty good taking care of the basketball but they forced us into 16 turnovers.

"I thought our defense was pretty good. We got some big stops late and (Bell) hit some huge shots late."

Georgetown broke out to an 8-0 lead in the game's first 2:34 before a Darrun Hilliard triple got the Wildcats on to the scoreboard. Villanova added five more points in the next three minutes to make it a 9-0 surge of their own and take its first lead at 9-8 with 14:36 to play in the first period.

Another 8-0 spurt a short while later by Villanova was ignited by sophomore guard Ryan Arcidiacono, who dropped in 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, to help the Wildcats craft a 19-12 advantage almost nine minutes into the contest.

Villanova retained the lead for the remainder of the period, though Georgetown wasn't far off the pace thanks to 11-of-20 shooting from the field (.550). The Wildcats forced 13 Hoya turnovers in the first 20 minutes, though, which helped them craft a 35-30 lead at intermission.

"We got some good things out of our press in the first half but they adjusted," stated Wright. "We did a better job in the half court in the second half because they run some great stuff."

Bell and Hilliard paced the `Cats with eight points each in the first period. Starks provided 10 points to boost the Hoyas. Each team collected a dozen rebounds.

Georgetown opened the second period in much the same way it did the first: with a spurt. In this case it was a 7-2 burst to open the period and pull even at 39.

Villanova struggled to produce points for the early part of the period before Bell heated up from long range. Bell converted a trio of 3-point goals, the last of which gave the Wildcats a 61-56 lead to go with just under three minutes to go in the period.

Starks answered with a driving basket to shave the margin to 61-58. A Villanova turnover gave the Hoyas back the basketball with 1:56 on the clock in the period. Bell drew a charging foul, however, on the next possession and the Wildcats converted free throws late to post the 65-60 win.

The Wildcats will be idle until Saturday when they complete the Philadelphia Big Five portion of their schedule at Temple (4:00 p.m./CBS Sports Network).

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